14 April 2020
Tauranga Primary School Newsletter
Tēnā koutou katoa
Ngā mihi nui, kia koutou katoa - Warm greetings to you all.
Many of you will have seen differing reports in the media, over the Easter break, about when and how schools will reopen once we move from Alert Level 4. There are a lot of mixed messages and information out there, so I thought I would share with you what we know from the Ministry of Education, information that has been sent directly to Principals.
There are five main points:
- No decision has been made yet about when schools will reopen. This decision will be made based on data about the spread of Covid-19, and how we are going in stamping it out. It is unlikely that a decision will be made before the 20th April.
- The very earliest schools would open would be the 29th of April, and this would likely only be for SOME students, not all. This date has been derived from assuming that the alert level is changed on Thursday 23rd April - 4 weeks from the day we went into level 4 isolation.
- The Ministry are preparing for several possible scenarios - opening only for staff, opening for essential workers' children, opening in shifts so that children can stay 2 metres apart, opening for just senior students, a combination of distance and on-site learning, staggered opening, not opening for a number of weeks, etc. We do not know what this will mean for our school as yet.
- There will be some notice before schools re-open. They will not be closed one day and open the next. We will be given time to ensure that the school is clean, that our systems and processes are sound, and that we implement any Health & Safety regulations required.
- Chris Hipkins (Minister of Education) is this week, working on guidelines for what Alert Level 3 could look like for schools. We look forward to his guidance on this matter, and we will share with you when we know what they may mean for Tauranga Primary School staff, children and parents.
The first step Tauranga Primary School will take (tomorrow when school opens for term 2) is to contact all our school families. For the first two days (Wednesday and Thursday) our class teachers will be ringing every school family to connect with you, and ask about your situation in terms of ICT devices in the home, and your personal situation to support learning at home. We understand and appreciate that there will be a large variety of circumstances in our community; from those who have financial security and are doing well, families experiencing loss of employment or financial hardship, essential services families who are still working full time, many experiencing the stress of the whole family being underfoot day after day; and most simply grappling with the challenge of a changed world of isolation and uncertainty.
We can not expect to carry on with school as normal, because it simply is not normal. Parents are not school teachers, and to expect you to deliver curriculum between 9am and 3pm at home is an absolutely unrealistic expectation. Equally so, our staff are in varied situations at home with their own families, who need time and attention, consideration of their partners work situations, as well as concerns for their wider family and friends. The staff are not in a position to work as they would in a normal school term either.
Therefore, as a school we will firstly focus on:
- Connecting with our school families - whanaungatanga - We will take the first two days to re-connect with everyone personally.
- Understanding and responding to the context within which we now teach and learn, with compassion and care.
- Working to ensure that remote learning is more than busy activities and includes tasks that have educative value and connect with our TPS vision and learning model. This will take time and we will be learning as we go.
As our prime minister has stated "be kind" we are all in this together and together we can make a difference and save lives.
Take care everyone,
Helping students stay safer online from home
As you know, children's online safety is important. At school, Network for Learning (N4L) helps keep our TPS students safe from the bad side of the internet. During lockdown, the students' place of learning shifts to their home. So N4L has worked out a way to help parents keep their children safely connected at home.
FREE N4L safety filter for all students
N4L have set up a safety filter that parents can set up on their child's learning devices from home.
Just go to switchonsafety.co.nz to find clear instructions on how to do this.
The free N4L safety filter (by global cyber-security leader, Akamai) blocks websites containing known cyber threats like phishing scams, malicious content and viruses, while also protecting children from content deemed the worst of the web (like adult sites).
It is an extension of one of the many safety and security services we have in place at Tauranga Primary School and is a valuable layer of protection to help keep children safe online. Please remember that technology is not a silver bullet and the filter should be used in combination with Netsafe's online parent safety toolkit.
How does it work?
Once a child's device is set up, all internet search requests will go through the safety filter which checks if the website they are trying to visit is safe before allowing access. If it's a website that's known to be unsafe, then it will be blocked. The safety filter is applied to the child's device, so parents' devices are not affected.
Home Learning T.V. - TVNZ 2 + 1
This will be available on TVNZ 2+1, TVNZ on Demand, as well as on Sky Channel 502.
The new programming will start on Wednesday 15th April.
This is an option that you could choose to use to support learning in your home, if it works for your family and daily routine.
Here is the timetable:
9.00am - 9.10am Parenting - Nathan Wallis
9.10am - 9.25am Early Learning
9.25am - 9.40am Junior Health (Age 5 - 8)
9.40am - 9.55am Junior Literacy (Age 5 - 8)
9.55am - 10.05am Maia the Brave
10.05am - 10.30am Beginning Te Reo
10.30am - 10.50am Beginning Te Reo
10.30am - 10.50am Junior Science and Maths (Age 5 - 8)
10.50am - 11.00am Kai 5
11.00am - 11.15am Middle Literacy and Language Age (9 - 11)
11.15am - 11.40am Middle Maths (Age 9 - 11)
11.40am - 12.05pm Junior Project
12.05pm - 12.30pm Fanimals
12.30pm - 12.40pm Parenting with Nathan Wallis
12.40pm - 1.00pm Aotearoa HIstory
1.00pm - 1.30pm Senior Literacy (Age 12 - 15)
1.30pm - 1.55pm Born to Move - (Teens)
1.55pm - 2.25pm Advanced Te Reo
2.25pm - 2.50pm Senior Project
2.50pm - 3.00pm Daily Diary
NEED HELP ?
This fact sheet below has lots of information and explains how to access help and assistance.
KEY DATES TO REMEMBER
- 28 March School holidays begin
- 10 – 14 April Easter including the Tuesday after Easter
- 15 April Term 2 begins (through distance learning)
- 22 April Current date for ending of lockdown period
- 27 April ANZAC Day observed
Information and resources to support wellbeing and support learning at home
- The Ministry of Education has developed a resource for parents, caregivers, whānau and family - http://education.govt.nz/school/health-safety-and-wellbeing/pastoral-care-and-wellbeing/talking-to-children-about-covid-19-coronavirus/.
- The Ministry of Health’s website includes Top ways to look after your mental wellbeing during the Covid-19 lockdown.
- Sparklers is a free well-being toolkit - https://sparklers.org.nz/parenting/
- I AM HOPE is the youth and community focused support group run by The Key to Life Charitable Trust, started by Mike King - https://www.iamhope.org.nz/
- Nathan Wallis has some helpful videos on his Facebook page for parents and whānau - https://www.facebook.com/nathanwallisxfactoreducation/ -
- Tips on looking after mental health and wellbeing during COVID-19 from the Mental Health foundation https://www.mentalhealth.org.nz/get-help/covid-19/
- Website by the Health Promotion Agency to help New Zealanders recognise and understand depression and anxiety - https://depression.org.nz/covid-19/
- Although overseas-based this is a good list and highlights some things particularly important for children. Remember the rules of New Zealand’s level 4 lockdown still apply - 25 Mental Health Wellness Tips during Quarantine from Eileen M Feliciano, Psy.D.
Home internet slow - try these suggestions:
It is important to eliminate performance/speed issues with the home wifi setup first, rather than assuming there is an issue with the connection from the house to the internet. To check this:
- Run a speed test at www.speedtest.net to establish a baseline, and repeat after making any change below to check for improvement
- Power off home router every morning, leave off for 30 secs before powering back on (don’t press the reset button this will reset the device settings!)
- Turn off, or disable Wi-Fi on, unused devices where possible, especially older devices that run at slower Wi-Fi speeds
- Decrease the physical distance between your device and the Wi-Fi router, line of sight is best
- Use an Ethernet cable on devices where possible, to reduce Wi-Fi load (especially smart TVs, gaming consoles) – plug these into a spare LAN port on your router
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